Tag Archives: Vancouver

Day 6: A Walk to Remember

The Water

Having driven down in a rented car from Vancouver to Seattle, it makes complete sense driving down to the Waterfront for a relaxing evening. It is possibly the smartest move for the day. For more than one reason:

  1. I am tired
  2. I want to click some good photos
  3. I love the smell of salt in the air

Unlike Toronto downtown, getting a parking spot near the Waterfront is as easy as saying “boo!” to a goose (from a distance, of course, lest it chases you; but I digress…). There is an overpass  (referred to as the  “viaduct” by the locals) right near the Waterfront under which there are rows after rows of parking spots. And the best part? It’s free after 6! Tell me of one free parking spot in downtown Toronto, and I will take you out for ice cream. Promise.

Apart from tons of places to eat and curio shops to spend hours at, the Waterfront is cluttered with scenic views of the water, ferries and moored yachts.

With the sun just an hour from sinking and the cool air playing hide-and-seek with your hair, walking along the Waterfront is ideal for unwinding after a long drive. And when hunger calls, I will step into Fisherman’s Restaurant on Pier 57 for some hot steaming fresh seafood.

Care to join?

Photographs: Copyright Sanchari Sur

Under the Viaduct, Seattle

A view of the city from the Waterfront

A Bookworm's Haven, Waterfront, Seattle

The Dusk

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Day 5: Suspens(ion) above Capilano River

 

Capilano Suspension Bridge from a distance

Gingerly, she took a step forward. One foot at a time, she decided. The bridge wobbled and creaked under her feet.

“I can’t do it,” she said.

“But look at the others. They are all doing it!” her family urged.

She looked up, across the 450 feet gorge. The bridge didn’t look strong enough to hold that many people, but it did. She wondered how. She peeked over the railings and looked at the shiny sliver of the Capilano river, glittering in the sun. Mocking her from 230 feet below the feeble bridge.

Fine; I can do it, she decided quietly.

Holding onto the railing with both hands, she took one step at a time.

Halfway through, she stopped. For photographs. How was she supposed to smile while the bridge wobbled from side to side? What if it toppled over?

“Nothing will happen! Just smile!” they reassured her.

She forced a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes. She wished this ordeal over.

Again, it was time to move forward. One step at a time.

“Yes, I did it! Thank god I don’t have to do that again!” she exclaimed jubilantly, as she reached the end and stepped onto solid ground.

“Oh, wait till you have to cross it to get back,” a passing stranger smiled as he stepped onto the bridge.

Photographs: Copyright Sanchari Sur

Capilano Suspension Bridge, North Vancouver

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Day 4: Python for Breakfast

Python for Breakfast

The day started innocently enough. I was ready to take on Vancouver aboard the Big Bus. Like a pucca tourist. Do what all tourists do. Sightsee. Click. Eat. Sightsee some more.

What I didn’t count on was holding a live python early in the morning.

I took the subway from Broadway to Waterfront Station. Then, headed off to the Big Bus kiosk to get my ticket. Last night had afforded me undisturbed sleep, and I was in a perky mood.  

As I stepped outside into the sunlight and rechecked my destinations for the day, a small commotion attracted my attention. There was a man with a squirming snake – a python – around his neck and shoulders, surrounded by a tiny crowd.

I stepped closer for a better look.

“Here. Do you want to feel it?”

And, the next moment I had a snake around my neck. I could feel its muscles contracting and expanding as it struggled to move freely around and about me. The flickering tongue had me mesmerized.

“Somebody please get this off…” I found my voice.

Amidst laughter, the man reached forward and lifted the snake off me as if it weighed nothing.

With an awkward smile, I walked off to catch my Big Bus.

Photo credit: Shinjini Sur

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Day 3: Water, Water, Everywhere…

 

Water, Water, Everywhere... ; Photo credit: Shinjini Sur

When you think of a ferry, you imagine a small boat that can carry about 20-30 people from one place to another. But what about a ferry that resembles a cruise ship and has atleast 7 levels? That is large enough to hold a food court, a spa and swallows not one, but several buses and cars at once?

When I board a Pacific Coast Line bus from downtown Victoria, my imagination allows me to envision being dropped off at the docks to board a small boat- those miniature dinghy types that can be hired in Toronto for private parties- that would take me from one port to another.

What I didn’t- or, couldn’t- imagine was still sitting on the bus while it went into the underbelly of a humongous cruise ship.

Astonishment would be an understatement.

The ride to Vancouver is a revelation. With wind in my hair, while standing at the front of the ship on deck 6, I can almost pretend to be Kate Winslet in Titanic. Only my Jack is missing.

And then there is only water. Everywhere I look my eyes are met with deep blue- of the water and the sky. I imagine this is what Coleridge must have been thinking of when he composed The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. I shudder at the desolation that that old mariner would have felt while being lost in the open ocean.

Eventually, however, I can make out the blue outlines of faraway mountains, coming closer with each second.

Vancouver is not far.

Photo credits and copyright: Sanchari Sur, unless otherwise stated.

First proper glimpse of Vancouver

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West Coast Tales: An Introduction

You shake your head in disbelief and stare at the ticket. Somehow that elusive holiday that you have been chasing all summer is finally within your grasps.

You look at your packed bags, mentally checking to see whether you have taken everything. Suddenly, you remember that you have forgotten your iPod and rush upstairs to get it. It will be a long flight and you don’t want to be stuck listening to crying babies.

As the cab pulls away from your house, you let out a little sigh, pinpricks of excitement finally flooding your senses. It had begun. You can’t believe this was finally happening!

You are at the airport. Your bags have been checked in. You have been through the security, and now it was just waiting for the call to board. You tap your foot in beat to “Suno Aisha”, feeling almost as confident and beautiful as Sonam Kapoor in Aisha.

You spy your fellow passengers around you through languorous eyes. The middle aged man in the red tee holding his wife’s hand. The little boy tugging at his sister’s hair, making her cry and his mother yell. The newlywed couple, with the shy wife too abashed to look at her husband directly. You smile, lost in your Aisha world.

Finally, you are on the plane. You have the aisle seat, just the way you like it. Your companion is a tiny old lady who you know will fall asleep as soon as the plane takes off. You are happy as you are not good at small talk, especially with strangers.

As the plane rushes down the runway, with the increasing roar in your ears, you are teetering on the edge of slumber. And, as Abhijit Pohankar comes on with his “Piya Bavari”, you have fallen off the edge, blissfully unaware of the baby that begins to cry.

The following blog posts titled, “West Coast Tales”, will trace my 8 day trip to Victoria, Vancouver and Seattle (in that order). This is my first attempt at travel writing. So, bear with me. Please.

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